Privacy Statement (FERPA)
FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)
Instructions for taking the FERPA tutorial in OAK:
- Please click here for instructions for self-enrolling in the FERPA tutorial.
- Please click here to log in to Oak to review the FERPA tutorial.
- Letters of recommendation or completion of evaluation forms by faculty require a signed release from students. Click here to print an authorization form.
Confidentiality of Student Records (FERPA)
Vanderbilt University is subject to the provisions of federal law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also referred to as FERPA). This act affords matriculated students certain rights with respect to their educational records. These rights include:
The right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access. Students should submit to the University Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the University Registrar does not maintain the records, the student will be directed to the university official to whom the request should be addressed.
The right to request the amendment of any part of their education records that a student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students who wish to request an amendment to their educational record should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the student will be notified of the decision and advised of his or her right to a hearing.
The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records to third parties, except in situations that FERPA and its regulations allow disclosure without the student’s consent. A complete list of the exceptions may be found at 34 CFR Part 99.31. These exceptions include, but are not limited to, the following examples:
- Disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A “school official” is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including university law enforcement personnel and health staff); contractors, consultants, and other outside service providers with whom the university has contracted; a member of the Board of Trust; or a student serving on an official university committee, such as the Honor Council, Student Conduct Council, or a grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
- To parents if the student is a dependent for tax purposes.
- To appropriate individuals (e.g., parents/guardians, spouses, housing staff, health care personnel, police, etc.) where disclosure is in connection with a health or safety emergency and knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.
- Information to a parent or legal guardian of a student regarding the student’s violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the institution, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the university has determined that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to the use or possession and the student is under the age of twenty-one at the time of the disclosure to the parent/guardian.
FERPA provides the university the ability to designate certain student information as “directory information.” Directory information may be made available to any person without the student’s consent unless the student gives notice as provided for below. Vanderbilt has designated the following as directory information: the student’s name, addresses, telephone number, email address, student ID photos, date and place of birth, major field of study, school, classification, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weights and heights of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and other information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Any new entering or currently enrolled student who does not wish disclosure of directory information should notify the University Registrar in writing. No element of directory information as defined above is released for students who request nondisclosure except in situations allowed by law. The request to withhold directory information will remain in effect as long as the student continues to be enrolled, or until the student files a written request with the University Registrar to discontinue the withholding. To continue nondisclosure of directory information after a student ceases to be enrolled, a written request for continuance must be filed with the University Registrar during the student’s last term of attendance.
If a student believes the university has failed to comply with FERPA, he or she may file a complaint using the Student Complaint and Grievance Procedure as outlined in the Student Handbook. If dissatisfied with the outcome of this procedure, a student may file a written complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-8520. Questions about the application of the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act should be directed to the University Registrar or to the Office of the General Counsel.
VANDERBILT DIRECTORY LISTINGS
Individual listings in the online People Finder Directory consist of the student’s full name, school, academic classification, local phone number, local address, box number, permanent address, and email address. Student listings in the People Finder Directory are available to the Vanderbilt community via logon ID and e-password. Students have the option of making their People Finder listings available to the general public (viewable by anyone with access to the Internet) of adding additional contact information such as cellular phone, pager, and fax numbers, and of blocking individual directory items.
Students who have placed a directory hold with the University Registrar will not be listed in the online directory. Directory information should be kept current. Students may report address changes, emergency contact information, and missing person contact information via the Web by selecting the address change icon at the link below: